"Bennifer Getting Married" w. Hayley Kiyoko | Crooked Media
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July 20, 2022
Keep It
"Bennifer Getting Married" w. Hayley Kiyoko

In This Episode

Ira, Louis, and guest host Bolu Babalola discuss Bennifer’s wedding, Anne Hathway’s celebrity rebrand, Love Island, The Gray Man, the monkeypox vaccine rollout, and more. Plus, Hayley Kiyoko joins to discuss her new album Panorama and what it takes to be vulnerable as a pop star.


You can find everything you need to fight back at votesaveamerica.com/roe, but here’s a few things you can do:

  • The first, and most important thing we can do is minimize the harm that this ruling will inflict. One way to do that is to support our Immediate Impact Fund. All funds raised go directly to local abortion funds, independent clinics, and legal defense for patients: votesaveamerica.com/abortionfunds
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  • RSVP for our live virtual event on Tuesday 6/28: After Roe: Reproductive and Civil Rights Move to States, where our expert panel incl Erin Ryan and Leah Litman, moderated by Shaniqua will discuss what this means, what comes next, and how we can fight back: https://www.mobilize.us/crooked/event/464892/




Ira Madison III [AD]


Ira Madison III And we are back with an all new episode of Keep It. I’m Ira Madison III.


Louis Virtel I’m Louis Virtel and it’s so pleasant in L.A. we’re doing summer exactly right. The temperature is great. God, I hope it’s just as pleasant in all other places all over the world.


Ira Madison III You are such a bitch, Louis.


Bolu Babalola Honestly, that was very mean.


Louis Virtel I want to start this up with some rancor at our guest host.


Bolu Babalola Yeah, I am Bolu Babalola and I am melting right now in London. It’s unseasonably hot. It’s like 45 degrees Celsius. It’s like Dubai. England does not know what to do with itself. Like everyone is bright red, but they’re still outside though. English people are very dedicated to the burning. I don’t know why.


Ira Madison III I will say that every time I’ve been there it has been weirdly unseasonably warm. Not this hot, but it’s people have always been dedicated to that. Like they’re in the park, they’re out, they got to get the heat.


Bolu Babalola They love being outside. Even if I’m also it’s just funny because English people are complainers, so they’ll be saying, oh, it’s so hot, it’s disgusting, but they will still be outside.


Louis Virtel I just want to say, by the way, that British people are good at complaining, period, though. So I’m really enjoying this. I feel like there’s just a layer of like sardonic remove to everything they do. So it’s just it feels appropriate to me that they have something collective to complain about.


Bolu Babalola And I think it’s actually going to bring us together as a nation.


Ira Madison III Bolu, I am so excited to have you back on the show this time, your guest hosting with us.


Bolu Babalola I know what an honor.


Ira Madison III We’re so excited to get your thoughts on everything that’s going on in the world of pop culture. But also you have a new book out.


Bolu Babalola I do have a new book out, Honey and Spice. Yeah.


Ira Madison III Yeah, you are. You’re writing all the books. This is two books that I haven’t even finished my first one. So tell us about Honey and Spice.


Bolu Babalola So Honey and Spice came out last week. It’s a collegiate rom com. It’s an AC African African-Caribbean society, which is like a black student union and a ineffectual university in Southern England. And my main character, Kiki Banjo, has a radio show where she gives romantic advice to the female populace of Blackwell, where she basically warns them off of waste men, which is basically like British slang, black British slang for like an F boy. And then, of course, an F boy does arrive to the university.


Ira Madison III Mm.


Bolu Babalola Tall, handsome, chaotically, just chaotically beautiful. She notices that all there’s a lot of in-fighting. There’s a lot of, like, John Tucker must die fights going on, like, okay, this is there’s a lot going on. And I thought I wanted to write. I thought I thought you guys better than this. She confronts him and she also gives a PSA on the radio show to warn them against this this waste men of Whitewell. Which she dogs him out. And he is not too pleased about that. And they confront each other and there’s a cost. And through a series of convoluted circumstances that I obviously made up, they are forced to be in a fake relationship to salvage both their reputations and the university. But it’s also just a love story about community as well. And Kiki opening up and has her guards up, learning to be part of a community, making more friends. All of that stuff. It’s a love story on many levels.


Louis Virtel Thank you for phrasing this in terms of Jesse Metcalf cinema so that we could understand.


Bolu Babalola You know. That is one of my specialist topics.


Ira Madison III That is why Bolu is on the show with us today. She’s giving author and also.


Louis Virtel Jessie Metcalf’s story. Yes. How does that relate to Desperate Housewives season 1? Oh, yes.


Bolu Babalola Oh, my God. So I could actually do a deep dive on that. But I mean.


Ira Madison III Do you now do you know who directed it? John Tucker Must Die, Louis.


Louis Virtel Oh, Leni Riefenstahl. Now, who was it?


Ira Madison III No it’s Betty Thomas.


Louis Virtel Get out. How interesting.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Also, you know, from Tracey Ullman’s show she directed.


Bolu Babalola Oh my gosh, wow.


Ira Madison III She directed the film 28 Days. Sandra Bullock drag out and rehab.


Bolu Babalola That is wild.


Ira Madison III She did the Brady Bunch movie.


Louis Virtel Which is as we’ve discussed several times in the show, the the simply greatest movie.


Bolu Babalola I work on the British, the new iteration of Tracey Ullman. So I was  a writer’s assistant on that show. So in a way I directed Jesse Metcalfe, and.


Louis Virtel I don’t know if I brought this up before I went to a junket once for Into the Woods because Tracey Ullman’s in that, right? Yes. And I this sounds like something I would just generically say about any celebrity ever. She is the nicest celebrity I have ever met.


Bolu Babalola She’s so sweet.


Louis Virtel She fucking rules. yeah.


Bolu Babalola Lovely.


Louis Virtel She, like, I think, ended the interview with a hug or something. It was very uncharacteristically rad.


Bolu Babalola Yes. She loves hugs and she smells good all the time. I love a celebrity that smells good all the time.


Ira Madison III Yeah, nicer than Drew Barrymore, would you say?


Louis Virtel Living emoji. Drew Barrymore.


Bolu Babalola Aww.


Louis Virtel Literally. You can see the tears are that size like they belong in a text.


Bolu Babalola Aww. I love her.


Ira Madison III Actually, one of favorite things that happened this week was just the Internet collectively deciding they wanted to defend Drew Barrymore.


Bolu Babalola I know what’s so funny, but I saw a defense, but I didn’t see anyone saying anything bad about her.


Ira Madison III So it was underneath her post, not her post someone posted. I wish I could, like, enjoy anything, as much as Drew Barrymore enjoys the rain. And then each response to it was someone being like, Well, you can enjoy the rain like this if you have generational wealth or if you’re a celebrity. And it’s like the rain or the rain is free bitch.


Louis Virtel We should we should say we’re talking about a video where that Drew Barrymore posted herself, where she is rhapsodic, that it is raining. And you can picture the kind of glee the Chloe FINEMAN esque glee that she conveys to the world. But anyway, it’s so a caricature of what you think Drew Barrymore is. And then she actually is that thing.


Bolu Babalola That. The Internet is such a dark place play fucking twist Drew Barrymore is happiness is something so bitter.


Ira Madison III It’s like the poor people could enjoy the rain too, the claim that the climate change is for everybody.


Bolu Babalola Climate change is for all. It doesn’t discriminate.


Ira Madison III Are all right so we are excited to have a romance expert that’s what I’m dubbing you now here because we need to talk about celebrity rebranding this week with Bennifer 2.0. They are married.


Bolu Babalola Living, living, living. I adore it.


Ira Madison III I’m so happy. I’m so happy. My Leo icons. So we’ll get into that. Also, I wanted to bring up this topic and I’m glad to have you here this week for it. But Anne Hathaway recently covered Interview magazine and truly everyone on the internet was breathless about these photos and so excited for Anne Hathaway in general. And it crossed my mind that this truly would not have happened like ten years ago.


Louis Virtel No, the opposite. We would have been like, How dare she put all these photos in front of us? We’re sick of it. Stop trying so hard.


Bolu Babalola I can’t remember why people didn’t like her.


Ira Madison III Yeah, so we’re going to we’re going to get into that as well. And also, we’re going to get into quite a bit of music this week. Our guest this week is Hayley Kiyoko.


Louis Virtel If you’re a bop oriented person, this is the podcast for you. You made it, sweetie.


Ira Madison III We’ll be right back. This week on a bonus episode of X-ray Vision, an interview with comic book writer Jason Aaron about his iconic run on the character Thor, which is the basis for Thor, Love and Thunder. Plus, Jason digs into the mailbag to answer your questions. Listen to new episodes of X-ray Vision each Friday wherever you get your podcasts.


Louis Virtel On the latest episode of Imani State of Mind. It’s time for a check in. What do you do in the news and state of America? Make you feel hopeless and anxious? With the overturning of Roe v Wade and the right to abortions in many states, the ladies breakdown the impact this ruling may have on your mental health. Listen to the new episodes of Imani State every Friday, wherever you get your podcasts.


Ira Madison III <A.D.>


Ira Madison III All right. Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez married in Las Vegas over the weekend, 20 years after they were first engaged. And truly, everyone I know was shocked that she filed her marriage license under her new married name, Jennifer Affleck. But if you’d seen the special 20 years ago in 2003, the Dateline special, where she was cooking at home, you would have heard her say that she was planning to change her name to Jennifer Affleck back in 2003 as well.


Louis Virtel And it would have been weird then too. I don’t like it. No, J.Lo. No J. Aff. See, listen to me talking. I sound like a monster.


Ira Madison III Yeah.


Bolu Babalola This isn’t you.


Ira Madison III What do you think about J.Lo and Ben in general? Bolu?


Bolu Babalola Oh, I adore it. I adore it. J.Lo is a lover girl. She’s an unashamed lover girl. She loves fully, boldly, unashamedly. And I really, really admire it. And I actually kind of I think Second Chance Love is what we call it in the romance world. I guess the second chance I like to love is being liked again after years of being apart. And I think I like it cause it takes a lot of courage and a lot of faith. And I think that core of love and also I just feel like it takes a lot of like variables now we’re grown now. Sometimes you have to grow apart to come back together again. And I like that it gives space for that. You know, sometimes you need to, like, go away and work on yourself before you can actually come into a relationship ready for it. So I’m a huge fan of it. I mean, he’s glowing. The pictures are posted on even like good quality, but you can see the happiness. He was like, I don’t even care about the quality of these pics, but you’re going to see me beaming. I love that.


Louis Virtel I am a fan. That said, there’s something treacherous about the era of around 2003. Just we don’t exhume much from that time period. Like if I suddenly threatened to marry Dance Dance Revolution right now, you should be worried. You know what I mean? Like, what’s what’s wrong with Louis? That this is reentering his life? So I am excited just because also, like, they’re now both true showbiz veterans, you know? So it feels like there’s a different kind of shared experience and a different shared level of of A-list fame that they’ve had for a long time, too, where it’s like, well, what do you expect her not to marry somebody like that now at this time, you know, so like, why not somebody she’s, you know, tried a couple of times and you know, can confirm is still hot.


Ira Madison III I’m going to object to 2003 not being a time that we don’t want to revisit. Because let me tell you, 2003 was, one, the debut of The O.C., okay? It was the debut of Newlyweds Nick and Jessica.


Louis Virtel Okay. Sure don’t need to see that again. Moving on.


Ira Madison III Summer Movies, Freaky Friday, Charlie’s Angels 2, Full Throttle.


Bolu Babalola Top Model was the boy.


Ira Madison III Okay. Top model debuted. From Justin to Kelly dropped that summer.


Louis Virtel Oh yeah. The AF I can’t shut up about from Justin to Kelly.


Bolu Babalola I can’t believe I’ve actually seen that film. There’s no reason for me, a little girl in London to have seen that to see that film.


Ira Madison III I actually have a question. What was American Idol to you?


Bolu Babalola Like, that’s the thing, I didn’t really watch it because I didn’t really show it.


Louis Virtel Right.


Bolu Babalola But I watched From Justin to Kelly for some reason. I think I knew of it from afar, but I just didn’t watch it.


Louis Virtel Which reminds me, did you then watch World Idol where they put Kelly Clarkson on and she and she had to compete against all these other nations and she lost.


Bolu Babalola No, No.


Louis Virtel Yeah. Very under described a moment in pop culture history. We did so much weird shit to Kelly Clarkson before she, you know, broke away famously.


Ira Madison III I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention that the Lizzie McGuire movie and Dangerously in Love from Beyoncé also dropped in 2003.


Louis Virtel No. Okay. Dangerously in Love. That is a specific 2003 high point. Almost everything else you said was a sad or middling reboot. So that’s what I’m talking about.


Ira Madison III Fall Out Boys debut album.


Louis Virtel I hate that fucking era. I hate the weird lyrics. They don’t know what they’re talking about. I hate I hate men in those jeans. I hate spangly belts. Next


Bolu Babalola It’s so funny because I am rewatching season three of One Tree Hill, which is around that era and they’re talking about podcasting. They’re like, yeah, there’s a podcast with this thing, it’s kind of like a radio show. We can download it, download it onto your iPod, and it’s just so cute and so quaint. Fall Out Boy appeared. They’re like doing a little gig at, like, you know, the town cafe. It was all very sweet, just a bit purer then, you know. Mhm.


Louis Virtel Oh definitely, definitely. It’s you know like Gilmore Girls like that time. Yeah.


Bolu Babalola Yeah.


Ira Madison III Meanwhile now you can’t get away from podcasting. But I would say I’ve yet to see podcasting  like really sort of done well on a show.


Louis Virtel Well, it’s like it’s a hard medium to make compelling. You know, it’s like there aren’t many TV shows about making a radio drama. You know.


Bolu Babalola That’s true.


Ira Madison III Frazier.


Louis Virtel That’s true. That was the opening segment and they moved right along.


Ira Madison III Yeah, recording a podcast now is like Only Murders in the Building, which I love.


Louis Virtel I like it.


Ira Madison III It got so much better in season two. Yeah, they give her more to do this time, but they’re like running around with their audio equipment. And I’m like, I know that podcast is awful to listen to. The sound quality sucks. Oh, that podcast. Yeah. I’m just going to guess.


Louis Virtel I can’t picture Martin Short. Yeah. Like doing the levels before they start recording or whatever.


Ira Madison III But going back to J-Lo, I actually am very excited for her too. You know, I feel like. I feel like she and Ben are the right level of toxic for each other.


Louis Virtel No, there’s a suspense to this for me. You know, it’s like, where could this possibly go? It’s like a little it’s mostly good, but a little bit bad. And I like that.


Bolu Babalola I like that. I think that’s why they’re loving each other, though. Like you said, it’s the right kind of mess. They get each other and also very grown. Like actually, it’s kind of refreshing to see two celebrities who are around the same age find each other. That happens very rarely. Like you’ve been through the same shit. You’re both grown ups. You’ve got the kids, you know, you’ve been through some stuff. What I liked about J. Lo is like, that’s that she’s like, you know, we’re bringing our kids together like a blended family. And, you know what? Good for you guys. Good for you.


Ira Madison III Mm hmm. I’ve tried to think of other celebrities who’ve married the same person twice.


Louis Virtel Oh, well, you got your Elizabeth Taylor, of course, and with Richard Burton. But they remarried somewhat after they had separated. So there’s not like a grand, you know, generation long gap between their marriages.


Bolu Babalola Stanley Tucci separated from his wife and then got back together with her.


Louis Virtel And that’s Emily Blunt sister, famously.


Bolu Babalola Yeah. No, that’s. That’s his second wife.


Ira Madison III Mm hmm.


Louis Virtel You know, well, a marriage I brought up that I’m very at that I’m a fan of is Anthony Edwards and Mare Winningham. And Anthony Edwards and Mare Winningham were in a movie in the eighties and called Miracle Mile that no one remembers. But that does have some fans. But they met again doing the DVD commentary for it some years back, and now they’re married. So that’s pretty cute.


Ira Madison III Okay. Well, I mean, Natalie Wood, I’m sure she regrets getting remarried to Robert Wagner.


Louis Virtel Well we can’t really ask her, can we? Yeah.


Bolu Babalola no.


Ira Madison III Her sister. Her sister was on Keep It. I think her sister would agree that she regretted it.


Louis Virtel Right? Yeah. It’s in the book that she made a mistake, I think. Yeah.


Ira Madison III Also, I, I am sorry. Sidenote. It is very weird to reference the fact that Natalie Wood’s sister, was on this podcast talking about her sister’s death.


Louis Virtel It was among the weirder times in my life, but I’m surprised I was there for it. But yeah. And former Bond girl Lana Wood. Also I have a question. Have we gotten Ben Affleck movies recently? Oh, no. We did. The Tender Bar. What else has he done recently.


Ira Madison III As the resident Ben Affleck stan?


Louis Virtel Oh, please tell us.


Ira Madison III Well, the last movie we got that he was in was Deep Water. And I don’t like to talk about that, though.


Louis Virtel No, I mean, I don’t like shallow water. Why am I even going to go to the deep.


Ira Madison III Adrian Lyne lost his mind while directing this film. And it is. I don’t think you should be able to just disrespect Patricia Highsmith like that.


Louis Virtel No, there should be a gay screening room where we tell you if this is actually going to go wide, you know, you have to meet the Carol Bar, otherwise it doesn’t go out.


Ira Madison III And then, of course, you have added Anna  de Armas in that film. And it is actually it’s so interesting to be like him going back to J. Lo but like right after this like very public Anna de Armas situation.


Bolu Babalola A Very strange relationship where they walked around like zombies as well. Like you never really saw them happy together either.


Ira Madison III Like Shaun and  Camilla.


Bolu Babalola Yeah.


Louis Virtel That was the most zombified relationship.


Bolu Babalola Yeah, that was so weird. Hmm. He looked like he was held on the hostage, like it was. It was distressing to see.


Ira Madison III Yeah And so, like, I’m very happy for him as well, because I would actually say that Ben Affleck has always sort of been one of my celebrities that I tend to like a bit more like at least on film. It’s interesting that he was sort of like he was like movie star, you know? And what do you think about people who are movie stars now and like sort of like command the box office? You know, you really we really sort of have like Tom Cruise left, you know, and it’s like you wonder sort of what happened with Ben Affleck. But I like it was his relationship with J.Lo that happened that sort of destroyed him as a sort of A-list celebrity because Gigli and shit happened. But I think he’s back to it.


Louis Virtel I feel like over the years he’s gained a sort of like fandom. And and I want to say it’s because there’s like arresting angst about Ben Affleck where you just want to tell him it’s okay or something. I want someone to explain that thing to me that Ben Affleck has.


Bolu Babalola Yeah, he looks a bit tortured, you know, like there’s some inner turmoil going on, you know? And you want to be you want to be like, it’s okay, babe, it’s okay. Everything’s going to be okay.


Louis Virtel I can actually picture J.Lo saying it just like that, too. So I feel like you’ve actually deciphered something.


Ira Madison III You know what’s you know what I was shocked by looking at Ben Affleck’s filmography? You know what show I completely fucking forgot about that he was a creator om?


Louis Virtel Project Greenlight.


Ira Madison III Push Nevada.


Louis Virtel Right? Oh, yeah. Yeah. I remember that very short lived show. That was was it was that a what happened on that show again?


Ira Madison III It was a federal agent went to a small town in search of like a missing $1 million, very sort of like Twin Peaks ish. Starred Derek Cecil and Charlotte Horvat. But it was sort of like the audience was watching. This is a very weird time in America, Bolu. The audience was watching the show and like you could sort of like solve the mystery, too.


Louis Virtel I was going to say it reminded me of The Mole or something. Yeah.


Bolu Babalola Yes. When was this? What year was this in?


Ira Madison III Like 2002.


Bolu Babalola Oh, my gosh. Sounds like a very early interactive show.


Ira Madison III Yeah.


Bolu Babalola That’s so interesting.


Louis Virtel And then, of course, he was in the Jenny from the BLOCK video and then, you know, we were on the fence about him for a while.


Bolu Babalola That’s that’s when I took notice of him. Personally.


Ira Madison III And then pivoted to director. And then was Batman.


Louis Virtel The grumbliest Batman, the Charlie Brown iest Batman.


Ira Madison III What do you think? Do you think he and George Clooney are, one, still friends? And two, do you think they talked about their time as Batman?


Bolu Babalola That’s a good question.


Louis Virtel Well, Batman is both the case of like the iconic character you want to play it. Also, I just don’t believe in interesting character at all. So.


Bolu Babalola At all.


Louis Virtel You know, he again, he said something bad happened to his family and he seems to be into detective work. That’s all there is to it.


Ira Madison III Michael Keaton’s the only one who’s given me, like, an interesting Bruce Wayne.


Louis Virtel Right? Yeah. Yeah. And maybe the Lego Batman. I don’t know. You couldn’t pay me to watch that.


Ira Madison III All right. Well, speaking of rebrands, I do want to briefly talk about Miss Anne Hathaway, because she covered Interview magazine and everyone was breathless. And I truly want to pinpoint the period when Anne Hathaway was cool again.


Louis Virtel Well, I want to say about her, is this renaissance more to do with? There are lots of lovely photos of her where we don’t hear her speaking and the people who hated her once upon a time did not like the tidbits that came out of her mouth because she sounded, quote unquote, too theater kid.So is


Ira Madison III She was literally like A-list. Lea Michelle.


Louis Virtel Yeah. Wow. It’s rarely been said like that. And now I’m Jarred.


Ira Madison III Yeah.


Bolu Babalola You know what it is? I think there was a time we were very cynical, so, like, that kind of earnest energy that she she radiates was kind of cloying to some people. I mean, I’m a huge Princess Diaries fan. I’m a fan of the books. So I was very you know, I was very kind of as I was like 13, 14. I was ready to judge her. I’m not going to lie. When she came in Princess Diaries and I loved her and she had this kind of earnest charm that works for that kind of character. But I think that in that kind of age, it’s very easy. Like back then, like the cynicism kind of made that energy that could be very jarring and cloying and corny and disingenuous. And I think now you kind of pivoted to the other side because we’ve gone through so much darkness, you know, what you’re like is really refreshing. Like just a woman who loves what she does. She loves her husband, he lives pretty dresses. And she thinks what she does is very cool. What’s wrong with that? You know?


Ira Madison III Mm hmm. I would also offer that James Franco helped.


Bolu Babalola Oh, yeah.


Ira Madison III Because hosting the Oscars opposite James Franco earned her a lot of sympathy.


Louis Virtel Well, I don’t know about I felt like people dismissed that Oscars out of hand entirely and blamed the both of them, not realizing he did most of the worst work on that telecast, whereas she seemed pretty game for it. I think also the thing with Anne Hathaway was in her initial roles, you just brought out Princess Diaries and Devil Wears Prada. She played like a relatable person and then suddenly she was in every movie. So she was like supposed to be relatable to everyone. And I think it was easy to get sick of that quickly, matched with the fact that she was suddenly had this ascendant Oscar moment where it just felt like like every light in the universe was pointing towards Anne Hathaway.


Ira Madison III Le Mis. Le Mis was the height of like people just disliking her.


Louis Virtel Right. No, I think this is it can be summed up by the first line of her Oscar speech, people rolling their eyes when she said it came true, you know, that whole thing of, oh, that’s too cloying, it’s true, it is disingenuous, etc.. And she herself did interviews later saying like, people got sick of me. I had to disappear for a second. But at the same time, I just want to tell people like get into cloying people. I’m like, like, they’ve got something we all need. So, you know, I’m not saying it’s always like like we all cringe at things sometimes, but cringe is also good sometimes. Cringe is good.


Ira Madison III Yes, she did. She did disappear. She did The Hustle. That’s funny.


Louis Virtel Yeah, well, she had that weird couple of years where she did, like, Song One and those kind of weird little movies.


Ira Madison III I will say from that period The Intern is still an iconic classic.


Bolu Babalola I was actually going to love it. Intern. Yeah.


Ira Madison III Yeah. More. More. People need to recognize how great The Intern is actually.


Bolu Babalola She was also in Love and Other Drugs with Jake Gyllenhaal, which is actually quite good, is kind of like a darker.


Ira Madison III I like that film a lot, actually. I like.


Bolu Babalola I really liked it.


Ira Madison III It’s one of like his sexier films, actually.


Bolu Babalola I love that film. And then she was in a not so good adaptation for One Day.


Louis Virtel Yeah.


Bolu Babalola Where she played a Brit like she did a Yorkshire accent, which is very hard to do even as a British person. But as an American, it was just really bad. It wasn’t a great. It wasn’t great accent.


Louis Virtel Song One and one day fill the same spot in my head of O,. Remember when Anne Hathaway did that? Because all of her other moments are these very high profile. You know, she doesn’t have like a long list of weird indies under her belt, for example.


Ira Madison III Now, I would just sort of say, like, Colossal.


Louis Virtel That was like among the riskier choices she made. And I think it’s a semi-successful movie, but it really doesn’t fit in with the here comes the giant Anne Hathaway movie. We’re all expecting vibe we now have with her.


Ira Madison III Yeah. And of course, her best indie flick is The Witches, so.


Louis Virtel When, now when she dared to step into Anjelica Huston shoes, I got a little testy. Because those are twisted and nobody’s feet fit in them.


Ira Madison III All right, when we are back, Louis and I have a chat with Hayley Kiyoko.




Ira Madison III She is a singer, songwriter, director, actress, truly everything and known by many as lesbian Jesus. We are thrilled to welcome the Keep It the iconic Hayley Kiyoko. Hi.


Hayley Kiyoko Hi. Thanks for having me. What a fabulous intro. Truly. I’m blessed. I’m blessed.


Ira Madison III Also, I also should have included that you played Velma in Scooby Doo as well, because that’s iconic to me and Louis.


Louis Virtel Also.


Hayley Kiyoko Thank you.


Louis Virtel Also true queer legitimacy. I mean, if you only had done that, you would deserve your own float in the parade.


Ira Madison III Yeah.


Hayley Kiyoko Good. Ended it there. Yeah, totally. Well, it’s so nice to be here. Thanks for having me.


Ira Madison III Yeah, thanks for being here. And thank you for this new album, Panorama, which is.


Hayley Kiyoko Did you hear it? Did you listen to it?


Ira Madison III Yes. Yes, we heard it. We were we were sent it. And it’s really good. I mean, I’ve been a fan for quite some time, and this album is just it’s really, really fun.


Hayley Kiyoko Thank you.


Ira Madison III I’m so excited to talk to you about it. But also like we are first single that came out. I didn’t even know that it come out. Truly a friend of mine, Garret. I woke up to, like, a text message from him, and it all, it it had a link to the Spotify and it said, in case you didn’t know, Hayley’s releasing BOPs. Oh.


Hayley Kiyoko Wow. Can I hire him to work with me? That’s amazing. I love it.


Louis Virtel I read in an interview that you said recording this album with your producer Danger was somewhat challenging. What what is challenging about recording an album like this? I want to hear these step by step. Like what’s like a grueling day, recording an album?


Hayley Kiyoko A grueling day of recording an album is like I’m trying to think, like, worst case scenario is probably trying to find the right chord change during a certain point in the song, like on the pre or maybe the choruses and lifting the way you want it to. And so just like trying all these different chord progressions and then also maybe having to rewrite a certain lyric that’s like very simple. Like it’s like a two word thing or a three word thing and you know, it needs to be clearer, but you’re not exactly sure what it is. Maybe you’re you’ve lost your voice from recording four days before, and you’re also having to approve emails and and figure out all this other stuff like outside the studio. So that’s probably like or Danger and I disagreeing on something and him being like, I want to do, I think it should be like this and like, well, I don’t want you to get rid of this piano part because I love it. Like, there are a lot of moments where I was like, This needs to be here. And then we would like mute something. And then a lot of the times he would be correct and we would muted and I’d be like, Oh, this is way better, but I’m an Aries and I think he’s a Pisces. And so we would just, you know, there be some moments like that, but I feel like like the best relationships challenge each other. And I think that that’s why I was so grateful to have him as an executive producer on the album, because I was craving someone to challenge me, to hopefully help me get to get make this record the way I wanted it. I want it to be heard.


Ira Madison III Okay. And then we have to talk about you working with Danger on this album because for, you know, our listeners who don’t know Danger is like iconic.


Hayley Kiyoko Yeah. Legend.


Ira Madison III Like I’m talking, I’m talking. Give Me More, Blackouts or Sexy Back. What Goes Around Comes Around. In this is the music that was like you know what my college soundtrack and I’m just like, what? What does this mean to you working with Danger? Was this your first time working with him? And sort of what was it like working with someone who was like made so many pop songs that are like, you hear these in the clubs still.


Hayley Kiyoko Yeah, you do. Still bumpin. It was and you know, it was an honor to work with him. And I was very grateful that he, you know, I, I wrote most of that album before I brought it to him. And so I was just really grateful that he believed in me and saw the vision and saw kind of like what I was searching for and needing. And he really helped me kind of balance the fact that I love, like, walls of sound. You know, I grew up listening to any music and obviously I do pop music. And so finding that balance of, hey, here’s some walls of sound, here’s some journeys, but also let’s create space for your voice to be heard. And I think. As a defense mechanism or an insecurity. I’ve always kind of tried to distract from my voice a lot of the times producing, and I was really grateful that he gave me that gift on this album.


Louis Virtel Is it at all awkward figuring out like, how much of the time you should be defending your instincts and how much you should be ceding to, you know, an experienced producer? Because you obviously want to be like Madonna hard and like believe in every single ambition you ever had and never give up. But at the same time, you know, you’re with this person who’s authority in another way. So is it is it tough to, like, relinquish ego or if it’s even ego?


Hayley Kiyoko I’m sure, yeah. There’s definitely ego involved. They feel like it’s very vulnerable for an artist to bring someone in to be like, hey, not necessarily critique me, but challenge me to help me get to a place that I want to be at. And so there is definitely moments where like, if you wanted to get rid of this piano, my ego was hurt because I was like, I wrote that piano. I love that piano. Yeah, you know. But then you, like, sit with it and then a couple days go by and and it is it was interesting to navigate because some some conversations I would win and some conversations he would win in the sense of like I agreed with him. Right. And so as an artist, you don’t like to agree, like you decide to like do everything yourself and just call the shots. But I think there’s it’s also important as an artist to really collaborate and also listen to your collaborators. But everything on the record on the album you hear is a decision that I stand by and that I made and that I believed in. And that felt right to me, to my core. I was never forced to do anything, and I was just grateful to just have like almost a mentor and a coach to just kind of stretch me in places that maybe I felt a little uncomfortable or scared to. To go down a certain path. And that was more of the relationship. And I think that it’s important for artists to have those types of relationships to grow.


Ira Madison III Mm hmm. I want to ask a bit, too, a, you know, being like a queer artist in this era right now where I feel like, you know, like I’m friends with Vincent.


Hayley Kiyoko Oh nice.


Ira Madison III Who you just did a song with recently and I talked to him about how interesting it is that now when you go to like Pride or like when you have, like when you’re marketing, you know, even towards the LGBTQ community in general, now you actually have queer artists who are performing now instead of, you know, before we had the designated divas who were the only people who would play events like what’s it like, you know, being, like, you know that you have at least an audience who is there to support you and you actually get to play for them now. Or do you feel like you sort of have that support built in? Because I feel like as for Louis and I, as you know, as gay men, I feel like we find that it’s often hard for gays to even sort of support other gay artists they constantly want to listen to, you know, like straight women in pop music. And, you know, what’s it like for you, I guess, on the lesbian side of the music spectrum?


Hayley Kiyoko I I’m just really grateful to have found my community and people that just make me feel understood and seen. And I’ve always said that, like, my fans have really made me feel like I have arrived and allowed been allowed to really share my true, authentic self. And I love being able to celebrate with them, and especially during Pride and being surrounded by people that are similar to me. And, you know, there’s nothing more powerful than community and support. And so I love Pride. I love being able to perform at Pride with my fellow queer artists as well. I also love the Allies as well. And yeah, I guess it’s you know, I’m a lesbian and I feel like gay men and lesbians, women have like different experiences and different like influences. And like you said, like a lot of gay men listen to like straight, you know, pop artists, which is funny too, which is like probably a whole nother conversation. But I felt I feel like the lesbians listen to me.


Ira Madison III Okay.


Louis Virtel But by the way, speaking of even further, queer legitimacy, so you appeared on RuPaul’s Secret Celebrity Drag Race, and you were mentored, in fact, by the other lesbian Jesus, Vanjie.


Hayley Kiyoko Yeah.


Louis Virtel That show to me is so one of a kind to me. It feels so vulnerable making. It feels, all at the same time, of course, empowering. It’s the whole point of the show, but. What did you come away from that show with? Was it. I mean, it must have been so emotionally exhausting, I assume.


Hayley Kiyoko Yeah. Well, for those of you who have watched that episode, you know, I literally was crying the entire time.


Louis Virtel Yeah right.


Hayley Kiyoko Like it was like eight therapy sessions and, like, two days. It was insane. I felt very vulnerable. I have always felt very uncomfortable with my femininity and like heels and like, I don’t know, just having that attitude and that fierceness, because I’ve always just felt more comfortable in like, hoodies and sneakers. And so in my mind, I was like, okay, drag, that’s feminine, that’s high heels, that’s this, that’s that. And so in my mind, I was putting that in a box. And when in reality, being in drag is just allowing yourself to take shape and of any form of whoever you are or want to be. And so it was a really vulnerable emotional experience andVanjie was holding my hand through it all, because it was all of these dark fears from my adolescence, like my five year old self was really coming out because I was like, I’m not safe. Like, I don’t feel comfortable. Like, this is this is not who I am. And it was like, why was I why was I even trying to be someone else I’m not? Like, let’s just be Queen Elizabeth and walk down the runway looking like a cotton candy Marie-Antoinette And like, if I’m going to like, maybe, you know, get a little more masculine with it and that’s fine, you know? And so it was an incredible experience. I honestly highly recommend anyone to experience drag because you will learn so much about yourself. You’ll be able to heal so much, so many parts of yourself that you thought that you had already healed. And I think that that’s kind of the experience that I went through.


Ira Madison III What’s it like when you are taking on an acting role then? You know, do you feel sort of that same sort of vulnerability when you are stepping into a role that’s not your own or is it more freeing if it’s sort of like an acting role, you know, where you’re just you’re just sort of you’re reading lines and you don’t have to really, like, expose yourself as much as you do in drag.


Hayley Kiyoko Yeah, I that’s a great question. I think that drag feels more vulnerable just because it’s more. In my experience, it felt more personal. I feel like when when you’re acting, you don’t take it personally because you’re playing someone else. And like all these experience and these things, obviously there are they’re real and the emotions are are true. And there’s a lot of passion, but it’s also there’s like a separation where you’re not taking things personally and you’re you’re in it to really focus on that character and you’re trying to protect that character and not yourself. And with drag, I was really focused on myself and and that relationship that I had with myself.


Louis Virtel Also just talk about promoting a pop album in general, period. And by that, I mean it feels very hard to sell music without everyone just hearing it. And what is it like putting into words what you’ve done musically? Because it feels to me like a musical brain is just one particular brain to turn it into this other thing of like. Go. Listen to this. It’s music. That thing you already have a ton of. Like, what is it stressful to, like, get people to listen to music?


Hayley Kiyoko Well, I feel like there are a lot of amazing music out there. I do think it is a challenge to verbalize the experience that my fans will feel when they hear the album. There’s no exact science to it because it really is an experience. You can’t, like, tell people what they’re going to feel. They’re going to listen to it and they’re going to feel it. But it is an album that I’m so proud of. It’s a more refined version of myself, and I hope that my fans listen to this album feeling seen, heard, understood, empowered, validated by their sadness. All of the above. But yeah, you know, as an artist, it’s, it’s even challenging to just do like an album cover, like the graphic design or merch, and it’s like, okay, how do I sonically take what I just created and put my heart and soul into it? And how do I put that into one image, a visual representation that embodies all 13 tracks, all the highs and lows like, you know. And for me, I’m an Aries. Like I put so much pressure on myself. I’m a perfectionist and everything. I’m like, This image has to say everything and this has to say everything. And obviously that’s why I put so much time and effort into my visuals. I direct all my music videos and with all my artwork, I want it to be art. I want you to want to frame the artwork and put it on your wall and be able to look at it and feel safe and be able to escape in it. But it’s challenging. It’s not easy, and I definitely get stressed out when I’m like, Okay, now it’s time for album artwork. Okay? Now it’s time to verbalize this entire experience into three sentences. How do I do that?


Ira Madison III Okay, but you did it, though, because if you hadn’t brought it up, I was going to bring up the album art because I love I feel like actually like maybe if you grew up, you know, like in the era of like the pop music from like the early 2000 or even lovely, you know, like eighties and nineties, like diva pop, like the image of your face just on the album cover, you know, you got like slightly like wet, like tousled hair. It looks like you’re staring right into your soul. I’m like when I see an album cover that is literally just like the artist’s face like that. It’s like, I know what I’m getting. I truly do. And I’m sure Louis can reference other, like, album covers that, like, are literally sort of like that.


Louis Virtel Oh, I love a straight forward. My favorite album of all time is Exile in Guyville by Liz Phair. And that’s somebody in your face, you know, looking straight ahead. And also it’s just like it lets you know, like, all right, I’m going to learn about this person. And also, they they are determined to say something. You know, it’s not just the music itself. They’re statement making going on.


Hayley Kiyoko Yeah, I well, I appreciate it. Thank you. I it was very, very vulnerable because I mean, you know, I directed Girls Like Girls in 2015 and I didn’t put myself in it because that was, I don’t know, safer made me feel more comfortable. And so I think, like, as a human, it’s a lot easier to focus on other people than yourself. And so part of this, like healing process and falling apart and putting myself back together during this whole album process was, Okay, I need to do something that makes me feel really uncomfortable on my album cover. And it wasn’t being naked because I feel very comfortable doing that. It was, let me put my face on the cover and make it extremely close. It just makes me uncomfortable to really put myself in the forefront. And that was part of the process, even with Danger, with allowing my voice to be heard like I want, I need to allow myself to be here and meet the moment and be heard and and allow that confidence to really meet me in the middle. And so it was very vulnerable to push myself because I would prefer to have my album cover be like, I don’t know, like a stick figure or something. That would be a lot easier and cheaper. But thank you. I appreciate it because I do look at the album cover and I’m like, You got this, Hayley. Keep going. You’re looking good.


Ira Madison III And not just like, you know, like the process of promoting an album. You’re promoting an album this summer where like literally everyone is dropping music right now. I mean, you’ve got Lizzo’s album just came out.


Hayley Kiyoko So exciting.


Ira Madison III You know, Beyonce is coming.


Hayley Kiyoko Same day, July 29th. Twins.


Louis Virtel Oh, yeah.


Ira Madison III You and Maggie Rogers. Yes.


Hayley Kiyoko Yes, Maggie too.


Ira Madison III Yes. You both were like, you know what? Here we are. And I can’t wait to listen to all I like. We’ve already gotten a joy to listen to yours, but I’m like, I can’t wait for, like, all three on that day. It’s just like, it’s. I love. Just like having a wealth of music to listen to these days. But I want to ask, like, when you were promoting your album, now, like do you find like can you listen to like other music like right now? Are you excited for other albums coming out right now or are you just like stuck still in the tunnel vision of like, I’m promoting this, my brain needs to be like, focus on this album or now that it’s done and you’re just promoting it, are you just sort of like, Whoo! I’m good. Like, I don’t need to, like, be immersed in, like, my own music right now.


Hayley Kiyoko Yeah, it’s kind of like that. I when I’m writing an album, I don’t listen to any music and as I’m very isolated in that sense, but I’m promoting my album. I definitely listen to all the albums that are coming out and music, and I can enjoy myself and be like, Okay, the album is done. I just need to get it out there and let let everyone know that we back.


Louis Virtel Who are the artists that you when they put out music, you’re the first person to download it. Are you super avid about anybody in particular?


Hayley Kiyoko That’s a really good question. There’s probably a lot of people that doesn’t really I mean, Arcade Fire is like probably number one. Coldplay.


Ira Madison III I love Coldplay and I I’ve talked about this before, but I was like, when, because, Lizzo’s new album has like a song called Coldplay, which samples Coldplay on it.


Hayley Kiyoko Oh, I haven’t heard it yet. Is it good?


Ira Madison III Yeah, it’s really good. Yeah. And it samples Coldplay and like one of my favorite things is just sort of like the fact that like Coldplay has this like black fan base. And I love when like black women, like female artists too, have like sampled Coldplay in songs. Brandy, on her album Aphrodisiac, samples Coldplay twice, references Coldplay. I mean, it’s not the same thing, you know, like Frank Ocean even has like a Coldplay sample too. So I’m like, Yeah, I am a big Coldplay fan, so I’m glad that  you brought them up.


Hayley Kiyoko Yeah. Well, we love. We stan for sure. There’s, there’s, I’m sure there’s so many artists, but I also like Post Maolne. I like when Post Maalone drops. I know, I’m normally always like, oh, what did he drop? And I listen to it.


Ira Madison III His new album was great.


Hayley Kiyoko Yeah, yeah. I like those vibes. But yeah, Big Sean too. I listened to Big Sean. Yeah. My, my, my musical library is very eclectic and all over the place.


Ira Madison III Now I mean Big Sean’s also one of my favorite performers. I saw him at Coachella recently. It’s always, always a great just like live performer. And new song out too. Yeah with with Ellie Goulding which I was I listened to it. I was like, okay, she’s back. I’m a I’m a I’m a Gould digger again. That’s true.


Louis Virtel It’s just like everybody is back except, of course, Rhianna.


Ira Madison III Yeah.


Hayley Kiyoko She been back.


Ira Madison III That’s true. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, thank you so much for being here, Hayley. I think your thank you for this album. It’s it’s it’s like really is something fun, something for the summertime and it’s emotional and, like, vulnerable, too. And I really feel like people are going to get to know you as an artist, but also like get to know you as just sort of like who you are in general.


Hayley Kiyoko Thank you. Yeah, I appreciate it. I. I named the album Panorama because I just wanted to celebrate the the highs and lows that we go through and also reminding yourself the love yourself along the way. And I think so many times I could go on a hike with your friends and you wait to get to the top of the mountain to take a photo and to to take it in. And it’s like, why aren’t we taking it in every step of the way? And even if we’re, you know, going through a hard time or in like a low valley or feel lost, like we’ve overcome so much to even get to that point. And so I hope that this album and some of the records can be a reminder to people to take in The View.


Ira Madison III Right. Thank you. This is so lovely.


Louis Virtel What a blast.


Ira Madison III Thank you. Yeah.


Hayley Kiyoko Thank you guys so much. Thanks for the love.


Ira Madison III And we are back with our favorite segment of the episode. It is. Keep It. Bolu as our special guest. Why don’t you go first?


Louis Virtel Lay it on us.


Bolu Babalola Love Island.


Louis Virtel Oh.


Ira Madison III I knew it. I knew it.


Bolu Babalola Definitely. It’s. I’ve never. What? I mean, I’m not a huge fan of straight men anyway. Right. But something about this show has my hatred is at an all time high now. They’re, like, gaslighting, but also fundamentally is, like, very mean in a very mundane way. Just. Just saying one thing, too, and I know we know it exists. You know, men lie all the time. But seeing it in like kind of this lab rats kind of situation. Very concentrated situation, like, oh, you guys are very gross, are you see how that is kind of like a pack mentality. You see how they just do things to impress other men whilst dismissing the woman’s feelings. So yeah, Love Island has made me hate men more basically. Basically, it’s just it’s just a just like a salad of F-boys, just different flavors of F-boys.


Louis Virtel And I’m sure they’re cast to be the single worst people alive too. So I’m sure. Yeah. No, nobody ever learns, for example.


Bolu Babalola No, no, no. Nobody ever learns. But the thing is like, it’s so weird because there’s a like, you know, there’s a 50 grand prize and it’s not a normal situation. You know, you’re not exposed to like books or TV or you’re not even allowed to like write or anything. You have to talk to each other. So you see these girls forcing these relationships with these guys because like, what else are they going to do? There’s literally nothing else to do. And also the chance to win money. So it’s just all these politics are kind of like make it very sick and twisted. I recognize that I’m part of the problem. But yeah. I think it’s I just feel like it’s a very it’s a very strange show that I cannot stop watching.


Ira Madison III I love Love Island and I also never mind, I follow your tweets because like, I don’t mind the spoilers. That’s because what it airs of the U.S., it’s always like a few weeks behind, but it’s it’s really just sort of about watching nothing unfold and get everything. If you love watching human beings, it’s a very fascinating TV show.


Bolu Babalola Like the other day, some guy who is coupled up with another girl, there’s this thing called Casa de Amor where they can meet other people.


Ira Madison III Casa de Amor is iconic.


Bolu Babalola And she he did stuff with the girl and we had to watch. This guy admits to his girlfriend that he licked someone’s tit. That’s what he said. And he goes, I licked her tit or whatever. I sucked her tit or whatever. And he repeats it and I was like, This is absurd. Like, we’re just watching this guy talk about sucking another girl’s tit on TV and the girl and his girlfriend is like, what? Like, this is humiliating.


Louis Virtel Well, it feels also just like Big Brother show we talked about last week, which, by the way, the UK tends to do way better than we do it over here in that it’s an addiction that’s extremely fed because there’s so many episodes and you have to watch all of them to keep up and the dramas constantly unfolding and here at Big Brother’s on three times a week. So it literally becomes like an entire hemisphere of your brain, like you have to keep thinking about it.


Bolu Babalola UK people, like in comparison to Americans, are just a lot less glossy. I think they’re just more gritty. They just more like, Oh, I don’t know, I don’t want to say ghetto, but like they’re just much more, they’re more rough around the edges and I think they’re more willing to be expose the mask pulls up very quickly. You know.


Ira Madison III I will say.


Bolu Babalola They stop performing very quickly.


Ira Madison III I will say we have a sheen to ours, like with like the Love Island U.S. like like they’re very hot. The people on Love Island U.S. But I will say that something’s missing once you hear someone, like with like an Alabama accent.


Louis Virtel Yeah. Mm hmm.


Ira Madison III It’s like, okay, you’re not that hot anymore. I need the British accent in my Love Issland.


Bolu Babalola Really? I find the Brittish accent so annoying after a while and I am Brittish. I have one, you know.


Louis Virtel That’s got to be tough. As somebody who has one, you’re like this again. Yeah.


Bolu Babalola Exactly.


Ira Madison III Listen, the grass is always greener on a different island, okay?


Louis Virtel Stop over here. Okay.


Ira Madison III Louis, what is your. Keep It this week.


Louis Virtel Okay, my, Keep It, first of all, is just to the entire idea of this movie, The Gray Man. What is it? It costs $1 billion and it stars three of the hugest stars ever. And nobody seems to care about it. And it’s just going to be on Netflix. And that’s that. It’s Chris Evans, it’s Ryan Gosling and it’s Ana de Armas. And there’s just premiere photos of them promoting this movie. And I guess they went to H&M and decided, We’re just going to buy the outfits here and I’m going to walk right out of the carpet. It is a it’s such a bizarre pop cultural moment where clearly they’re maybe I just don’t understand Netflix. They’re either throwing this movie away or they’re thinking, we’ve spent so much money on this. Well, we’re going to do it lemonade style and just kind of put it out without much word. And then it’ll become the biggest movie of all time. Like, is that the the model now? Like, is that how things are done anyway? All three of them seem very confused to be in this movie, and they also seem to not agree that it exists either. So I don’t know what to do with this movie. I don’t know if it’s going to be good. What is a gray man? It hasn’t been explained to me. It’s a color I love wearing. And that’s that.


Ira Madison III You know, the Duke from Bridgerton’s in it.


Bolu Babalola Which one? Rege.


Ira Madison III Rege. Yeah. Let me tell you something. Look, all I see from the press tour is people constantly. My, Keep It, my side Keep It to that Louis would be people constantly harassing Rege about coming back to Bridgerton. It’s like girl he’s done.


Bolu Babalola And not coming back, gosh. It’s so funny because I actually literally because I read the books when I was younger, there’s no role for him in the rest of us. Like, there is nothing for him to do. Like, leave this guy alone.


Ira Madison III Okay. And Shonda is not good at freestyling these days okay. So here he would come back to the show and he would literally be popping in the scenes. To what? Like you throw one sex scene. And then he’s just in the background having tea.


Bolu Babalola He like just watching.


Ira Madison III Let this man be a star.


Bolu Babalola He’s begging, begging.


Louis Virtel I read an interview where they talked about how there’s potential to recast his role or something. I was like, Guys, we need to just let go. Like, Do you understand how TV is? Stop it.


Bolu Babalola And the only reason people want his role back is because of him. They want to look at him, you know?


Ira Madison III Right. Okay. So you know what? Go look at his other work. Okay. Like there’s plenty of other things that he’s doing. If you want to look at him.


Bolu Babalola The gray man.


Louis Virtel Yes. The great one. Yes.


Ira Madison III There are two seasons of For the People.


Bolu Babalola Oh, yeah.


Ira Madison III That you can go back and watch. Okay. The show was cute.


Louis Virtel Did you see this show? You sound unsure.


Ira Madison III No, it was an ABC legal show. It was a Shonda flop. But


Louis Virtel Which does exist. Off the map, exists.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Yeah. So he was good in it. I don’t know.


Louis Virtel Ira, what is your Keep It this week?


Ira Madison III My Keep It goes to the U.S. government.


Louis Virtel But why?


Ira Madison III I know there’s many reasons. I know there’s many reasons. But specifically, I want to talk about the rollout of this monkeypox vaccine.


Louis Virtel Oh, my God. You’re right. It’s treacherous.


Ira Madison III I want to talk about. Okay. First of all, monkeypox is back.


Louis Virtel You’re thinking it went away or what?


Ira Madison III Well, I mean, like, I feel like few people remember, like when monkeypox popped up before, but it was very much contained. Like years ago, when it popped up and then it went away. Now it’s being spread, you know, through skin to skin contact and, you know, like it can be like sexually transmitted. And one, I want to point out that like it’s being passed, you know, right now, mostly through our community, Louis You know, a terrorist.


Louis Virtel The Black community, go ahead.


Ira Madison III But, one, it’s being, it’s it’s giving me flashbacks to the AIDS crisis and only that the rollout is being bungled. It’s really being framed in the media as sort of like this thing that like gays just like are dealing with. But I’m like, first of all, we’re trying to do our due diligence of like getting the fucking vaccine. You know, unlike with COVID, where you have to sort of be like, hey, you know, do you want to get this vaccine Americans? You know, so you don’t kill other people and also maybe die yourself. Like when it comes to like vaccines, like the LGBTQ community, like they jump on it, you know, because they don’t want another crisis like that to happen to us. But it doesn’t help if sites are crashing, if, you know, people can’t make appointments. I was lucky to get one of the earlier vaccines when I was back in New York, but they set up like a vaccine center in Los Angeles that is like so far east in Los Angeles that like you’re going to see Moses and I’m like wandering through the desert before you even get to that, that.


Louis Virtel Exactly. Yeah.


Ira Madison III I, I cannot understand how after COVID we still have this problem. Like, like what is going on?


Louis Virtel I got emails, two emails the same weekend about having been exposed at various gay parties to monkey pox. And then I went to the recommended place where you’re supposed to get the shot. And I did get the shot. I got there early. And so it was largely problem free, but the people there did not understand that the amount of people who are quote unquote, exposed at these like parties they’re like huge. So they then weren’t prepared for how many people came in, which was intense. It suddenly, within like 15 minutes, turned into fucking Dallas Buyers Club. People are like exchanging glances. Doors are in and out. People don’t know where they belong. People are upset in tears. They’re like, they’re turning into Karens like. Like that. Kind of like. No, but I was here first. No, but I had an appointment. All this stuff. It was like utterly confusing. And obviously it’s a new situation. You can be sympathetic to the fact that people don’t know exactly what to do, but man, it is incredibly stressful not knowing, having to rely on text change to be like, okay, you can go here at this time, maybe to get this, you know, it’s like a lot of unsure. It’s a lot of but you have to leave work and you have to get there early and you have to do. And it just feels very like there’s no the way Los Angeles has no urban planning. It feels like that there’s just disorganization. And I don’t know the proper pathway to get to where I’m going. Now I have to take three highways.


Ira Madison III And listen, the Karens did jump out in some people. I saw in line. I mean, like, listen, you give you give, white, gay men an inch. They won’t complain about something, you know. And that’s also why I’m mad at the government for, you know, just not being better at this rollout, too, because if it’s going to be word of mouth, like the community spreading the word of mouth of like where to get them, you know, like white gay men are going to be texting each other and their friends, you know? So like what then happens to gay people of color? Where are they going to find out about these shots, you know, and how are we going to get this info to them? And I’m just I’m just, you know, mostly just mad to it. Like the like conservatives and ugly people who don’t have sex online framing it as a mostly gay problem, too, because I’m like bisexual people exist, you know, like there’s heterosexual men who have sex with other men. And this also not just a sexually transmitted disease like it is skin to skin contact. Sex is one way to get it. But I’m like, you could get this from like the subway, from clubs and stuff. So I’m like, maybe don’t knock people who are trying to get the vaccine early before it starts spreading to Kieran and Breelynn okay. On the playground because then once that happens, once that happens, you’ll be really mad.


Louis Virtel Right, no the amorphous ness of the messaging is very confusing and very disempowering.


Ira Madison III Anyway, I’m mad as hell.


Bolu Babalola Yeah, well, as you should be.


Louis Virtel Peter Finch, 1976 best actor right here.


Oh, all right. Well, Bolu.


Bolu Babalola Hello.


Ira Madison III Thank you so much for being here this week.


Bolu Babalola Oh, my God. My complete pleasure.


Ira Madison III Like literal icon. I miss you so much.


Bolu Babalola I know. Me too.


Ira Madison III We also still have not had a proper, like, hang.


Bolu Babalola I know, I know. But when you come to London you must I think.


Louis Virtel Yeah, I feel like a Keep It London show is in our future and then you can guest host that too.


Bolu Babalola It should be.


Ira Madison III We. Yeah. We need to get that together. And you will obviously be right there on that stage with us. We may even get Camilla to come out.


Bolu Babalola Oh, amazing.


Ira Madison III I know. I was I was actually so disappointed that the one time that you were like here in L.A., I was in, like, Amsterdam.


Bolu Babalola I know.


Ira Madison III All Spring.


You’re jet setting.


Ira Madison III Yeah. You know, we keep missing each other. That’s, that’s that’s that’s the romcom trope we’re living in.


Louis Virtel You two are Going the Distance, 2002.


Ira Madison III Well, of course, Listen, you were on the podcast before to discuss Love and Color, which is also available at the book Love and Color If you have not. And also go and get Honey and Spice, which is out now wherever you get your books. I love saing wherever you get your books.


Bolu Babalola Officially a US best seller too.


Ira Madison III Okay.


Louis Virtel Fuck Yes.


Ira Madison III Yeah, that’s so fucking exciting. I’m so happy for you.


Bolu Babalola Thank you. And I’m really excited that this is out there and interacting with the world now. I’m liking it. So it’s it’s good. I’m glad it’s out there now. It was worth it.


Ira Madison III Good. All right. Well, thank you Bolu for being here. And thank you to our guests. Hayley Kiyoko, we will see you next week on Keep It.


Bolu Babalola Thank you. Bye guys.


Keep It is a Crooked Media production. Our senior producer is Kendra James. Our producer is Chris Lord. Our executive producer is our Ira Madison III.


Louis Virtel And Louis Virtel.


Ira Madison III Our editor is Charlotte Landes and Kyle Seglin is our sound engineer.


Louis Virtel Thank you to our digital team, Matt DeGroot and Nar Melkonian and Delon Villanueva for our production support every week.